Win 10 VARA settings for FT-891

I’m just looking to compare my PC/Win 10 audio settings and rig settings for FT-891 for optimal VARA HF / Winlink email use. I’ve got it working, but can’t help but wonder if my settings are optimal. I especially wonder about the VARA ‘gauges,’ and how best to interpret them, etc. Would love to hear from someone who’s really got it nailed. Thanks! 73, Tim. M.

Congrats on getting it working! The Vara HF modem gives you Settings → SoundCard with a graphical interface to set the audio drive level for 1/3 full-scale ALC. That should prevent distortion. You can also check the frequency alignment of your rig. The Vara HF modem does most of the work to negotiate and optimize the communication channel.

I’m not nailing anything, but getting pretty good results. I will offer some non-expert observations.

The gauges are:

  1. VU meter, should be set in the green for RX, -12 dB Volume units seems very good for my rig.
  2. CPU meter, mostly out of my control, but always under 5%
  3. AFC meter, which gives the auto-correction necessary to align TX and RX frequencies. Should be in the green, close to 12 o’clock position. I have done freq. alignment to WWV for my rig.
  4. S/N meter shows signal to noise ratio of RX, after Vara HF modem negotiates the mode, so out of operator knob control. (For higher S/N, consider improving the antenna, feedline or amplifier.)

The Vara Modem google group is also a place to search for answers.

73 Constrainted

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Thanks! I’ll give all of this a whirl!! 73, Tim M.

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Great! Here is a guide to align your rig to WWV:

#58: How to zero-beat WWV to check or adjust a Frequency Counter’s accuracy - YouTube

73 Constrainted